Wichita, Kansas - The Eastern Washington University women's basketball team used a balanced scoring effort to defeat Wichita State 67-62 on the road, in a game that was decided in the final minutes, on Tuesday night, Dec. 15.
EWU improves to 6-4 with the win, while Wichita State falls to 1-7 with the loss.
The first half saw both teams perform well on offense, as Eastern continued their impressive three-point shooting by draining 8-of-12 from beyond the arc. The offense was highlighted by senior Hayley Hodgins and junior Ashli Payne, both leading the team with 12 points after the half. Overall the Eagles shot 51.9 percent from the field, staying ahead of Wichita State at 43.8 percent shooting.
The EWU defense made a huge statement to start the second half, keeping the Shockers offense to only eight points in the third quarter, contributing to a lead Eastern would not surrender the rest of the game. A late surge brought Wichita State within reach in the final seconds, but two clutch free throws from junior Tisha Phillips secured the win. Overall WSU was held to 31.3 percent shooting from the field, and 2-of-9 shooting from three in the second half.
Sophomore Delaney Hodgins recorded her first double-double of the season with 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting, and 12 total rebounds. On defense she recorded four blocks to lead the team.
Hayley Hodgins led the team in scoring with 23 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 from three. She also sunk 6-of-8 free throws and led the team in assists with four. On the defensive side she tallied three blocks and two steals.
Tisha Phillips scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, and filled the rest of her stat sheet with eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and two steals.
Ashli Payne reached double digit scoring as well with 13 points, while grabbing six boards.
The Eagles shot 46 percent from the field, and 45 percent from three-point range, while Wichita State shot 37.5 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three.
EWU controlled the boards well, pulling in 39 rebounds, over 31 for the Shockers.
Eastern's defense made impactful plays all game, blocking 10 shots and stealing the ball six times, compared to zero blocks and 10 steals for WSU.
The Eagles had some trouble controlling the ball, turning it over 18 times, while allowing 25 points off their miscues. Wichita State turned the ball over nine times, resulting in 12 points off their mistakes.
Quoting Coach Schuller
"This is a hard place to win. Wichita State is a tough opponent, and they played Tennessee to seven points in their last game. We knew they were going to be good, so to get a win here is exciting. I thought we did a really nice job defensively in the second half. We made some halftime adjustments, and the players did a great job of executing those. We did a good job on the glass, and to outrebound a team that is bigger than us is a great thing. We had a lot of players step up and make plays. We're confident in our shots right now, and we're getting better and creating for each other and sharing the ball."
EWU has shot 23-of-48 from three-point range the last two games, good for a percentage of 47.9.
Delaney Hodgins has now recorded nine blocks in two games, as she continues to be a disruptive force on opposing offenses.
Hayley Hodgins has now scored in double figures in 26 straight games dating back to last season. She has 73 career games of at least 10 points. She now has 1,383 career points in 104 career appearances.
The Eagles return home for a game against Abilene Christian on Friday, Dec. 18. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. PST at Reese Court.